Having already disrupted the private hire industry, Uber is turning its attention towards the electric bicycle hire market. The ride-sharing giant has snapped up American bike share company Jump, which specialises in dock-less electric bicycles.
Uber’s Dara Khosrowshahi said: “We’re committed to bringing together multiple modes of transportation within the Uber app – so that you can choose the fastest or most affordable way to get where you’re going, whether that’s in an Uber, on a bike, on the subway, or more.”
Uber is already having an impact on the way we travel by highlighting some of the advantages of bypassing private car ownership. It’s plan to offer dockless electric bikes on a global scale points towards a future where private cars in cities become an increasingly rare sight.
To quote Enrique Peñalosa, the former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia, who made dramatic changes to the city in favour of pedestrians, “An advanced city is not one where even the poor use cars, but rather one where even the rich use public transport.”
There are many reasons why cars are a blight for those who live in cities. The air pollution that brings about the early death of an estimated 50,000 people every year in Britain alone is at its worst in cities. Research by King’s College four years ago found nitrogen dioxide levels on London’s Oxford Street to be the worst on Earth – a shocking revelation that is prompting new restrictions on the type of vehicles permitted to enter the city.
Dr David Carslaw, Environmental Research Group, was quoted in relation to air pollution levels on Oxford Street: ‘To my knowledge this [level] is the highest in the world in terms of both hourly and annual mean. NO2 concentrations [in Oxford Street] are as high as they have ever been in the long history of air pollution.’
Widespread use of dock-less bicycles can’t come soon enough.
Ethical cycle insurance
On the face of it, one cycle insurance policy is much like another, but the devil is the detail. Check your small print for so-called ‘new-for-old’ replacement – many insurers use the term, but if your bicycle is more than a few years old, devalue it severely. This means you are left out of pocket when you come to replace it.
With ETA cycle insurance, however old the bike, if it’s stolen you get enough to buy a new model. Furthermore, every cycle insurance policy you buy from us helps support the work of the ETA Trust, our charity campaigning for a cleaner, safer transport future. Little wonder The Good Shopping Guide has voted us Britain’s most ethical insurance company.